KEYWORDS: year, people, things, steel, lot, next year

After This, the Deluge

David Berg

10/88 DO 2523

1. I recently read an article in which a lot of businessmen were quite encouraged that the economy had not yet collapsed (in 1988), but they felt it's bound to collapse next year (1989)!

2. One big difference between now & the Depression years is that they didn't run everything on credit then like they do now. Very few people had such good credit that they could buy anything on time payments. Even a lot of the middle class people wouldn't buy anything on time. About the only thing they bought on time in those days were houses & cars. They didn't buy all their furniture or appliances on time, like they do now—most of them couldn't. So they weren't loaded with mountains of big bills.

3. I remember even the Jews in Miami were going around cutting everyone's time payments in half & that sort of thing. The Jews were cutting payments in half in order to just keep something coming in, what people could afford to pay. They didn't want to have to repossess all their property & be "property poor" with all this stuff on their hands that nobody else could afford to buy. They preferred just getting a little something rather than nothing at all.

4. Eve's family were house builders & they built an entire big & beautiful development on the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky‚ on a golf course. It was mainly upper middle class, but they had a lot of more reasonably-priced houses further out. When the Depression hit, people just couldn't pay, so they went around cutting payments & asking, "Well, how much can you afford to pay each month?"—And they'd just take whatever they could get. By doing this they remained solvent, they kept some income coming in, & the people were able to keep their houses. They came out on top in the long run because they were merciful & sensible & they only collected what people could really afford to pay, so the people were happy & they were happy. Of course, they weren't getting as much as they'd been originally promised, but things were no longer like they originally were!

5. Anyway‚ I just read this article that said, "It didn't happen this year ('88), but it's gotta come.—And it's probably going to happen next year ('89)!" Because of fear of a Depression, people have now gone ahead & bought all the things that they figure they're not going to be able to buy & they're not going to have the credit to buy in years to come. So they've gone on a spending spree, bought the new car that they figure they're soon not going to be able to afford, bought the house, bought this, bought that. They actually just went on a spending spree! Instead of saving up for the future, they're using up their credit that they know they're no longer going to have in the future.

6. "After us‚ the deluge!" That's what Louis XIV said when they warned him that things were going broke & he was going to be bankrupt & in debt, not long before the French Revolution. They warned him against his extravagance, the building of Versailles & all those things. He said, "After me, the deluge!"—And that's exactly what happened.

7. So that's what this generation is now doing. Things have gotten more & more uncertain in every way. People are so unsure of the future now. They used to figure‚ "Well, at least we're going to survive," but now they're not even so sure of that.—A lot of'm figure they're going to get wiped out in a nuclear war or even in an atomic reactor accident or explosion.

8. That's the prevailing attitude nowadays, "After us‚ the deluge!—We're going to live it up while we can on credit that we probably won't even have any more next year. At least we'll have a nice new car, at least for a little while, & we'll have fun while we can! At least we can live in our nice new fancy house for a year or so & know what it's like to be rich on credit!" That's the way a lot of America's Yuppies were living off of the stock market, but now they can no longer keep up their payments on a lot of their luxury items.

9. I've been following the news all this past year, & have seen some of the most definite indicators of impending Depression.—The same things that happened last time: House sales have fallen‚ car sales have fallen, & the bottom has dropped out of steel because the big manufacturers figure there's no use making more cars & refrigerators etc. The war industry's down so they're making fewer guns & armaments. They just haven't bought the steel, so the steel plants have gone broke.

10. That's already happened, steel has just died.—Not just because it can be bought cheaper from the East, but because the manufacturers have had enough steel to keep going with all the stuff they expect to sell this past year; cars, houses & everything else, but they're not ordering or stocking up for next year. And that's what this year's steel lives on, next year's orders, & there aren't any. You've probably heard & read how the steel industry has collapsed.

11. Even in Japan, steel's gone broke! So they're diversifying into all kinds of other manufacturing, small stuff, electronics, even tourism & things like that‚ the steel companies are going into all kinds of other things that they figure are going to survive. They know that when hard times come, people aren't going to buy these big items made of steel—houses, cars, heavy appliances & all that stuff.

12. So the Yuppies have had their splurge, & now it's over. The common man is having his splurge, he bought the last car he's going to buy for quite awhile, maybe several years. They've decided if they don't buy a new house, they'll never be able to afford it again, so '88 was the year to buy it! The Americans in particular, as well as a lot of other people have just decided, "Well, I'll never be able to buy it again, so I'll buy all the stuff I know I won't be able to buy next year. I may not even have a job or I may not have as high a salary, I may not be able to meet the payments. But at least I'll have it while it lasts, my last chance!"

13. So that's what they're saying has saved the big collapse from happening this year ('88), the fact that people are on their final spending spree. The growth indicators have actually gone up a little this year, because people are buying right & left all the stuff they don't expect to be able to buy next year. So this is it, after this, the deluge!

14. They say the economists & the business World etc. are quite pleased it didn't happen this year. They say it's this final spending spree which has saved 1988‚ but next year it's gotta hit because people will have bought up everything that they're going to buy. They're expecting a terrific drop in consumer spending & domestic spending etc. in Europe & North America.

15. So we can thank the Lord it didn't happen this year ('88). We were kind of finishing up, tying up the loose strings. The Lord just sort of staved it off so that we could finish up some of the things we needed to accomplish, such as the big push in Japan. In fact, they may not have made all the splash there yet that they're still going to be making! But I'm sure the Lord is going to do as much as He wants to & as much as He can, "& then shall the End come!"—Mat.24:14. In the meantime, we need to try to prepare for it the best we can.

16. We're simply not going to be able to afford to do as much as we have been doing‚ & where we can't afford something, we're just going to have to let it go. If we can't afford it, we just can't do it‚ it's that simple. That's the principle we've always operated on. If the Lord doesn't supply it, we don't either. I'm sure our folks are doing all they can, but things are just winding down. Fields are winding down, income is winding down‚ countries are closing up & people have to be more & more careful & some even go underground, & that really cuts income.

17. We've had a sample of that this past year. When we told everybody to get off the streets, we were really talking mostly to Japan & places where they were having problems. Instead of that, everybody took it to heart, everybody went underground, & because they weren't hitting the streets‚ Family income really dropped! We saw how much it can hurt!

18. Now they're beginning to come back a little in a lot of places, but for how long? It looks like Chile is going to go under now. Poor Garcia of Peru is going down, a few of the last bastions of hope & freedom. The ACs really know how to pull the rug out from under you! Garcia was booming until he decided to nationalise the banks, & that did it. The ACs couldn't make all those millions off of his poor little Third World country any more, so they just decided to jerk the rug out from under him.

19. I know you've heard the story before, but it's not exactly the same story—it's happening! It's not just a warning that it's going to happen, but it is actually happening! PTL!—Are you prepared?